OPERATIONS

Restoration Hardware co-CEO resigning to head up Lucky Brand

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Restoration Hardware Holdings said that co-CEO Carlos Alberini is resigning, effective January 31, to become the chairman and chief executive of Lucky Brand Jeans. The move comes just days after Fifth & Pacific Cos. entered into an agreement to sell Lucky Brand to private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners.

“I have been presented with an opportunity to fulfill my lifelong dream to run and build a company, Alberini said. “Leaving RH has been one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made in my career. Gary and I have built an extraordinary relationship, which I treasure and will miss. I am honored and thrilled that I will continue to have the opportunity to serve on the Board, and plan to remain a significant shareholder in what I believe will be recognized as one of the greatest retail stories of all time.”

Co-CEO Friedman said the company is developing a transition plan and will begin a search for Alberini replacement shortly.

The announcement was made as Restoration Hardware raised its fiscal year guidance and reported that its fiscal third-quarter earnings surged as same-store sales climbed 29%.

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FINANCE

NRF: Credit card swipe fee settlement ‘deeply flawed’

BY Staff Writer

Washington, D.C. — The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from senior VP and general counsel Mallory Duncan in response to U.S. District Court Judge John Gleeson’s approval of a controversial antitrust lawsuit over credit card swipe fees:

We are very disappointed that this deeply flawed settlement has been approved. It is not supported by the retail industry and would do nothing to reduce swipe fees or keep them from rising in the future. The settlement permanently ties the hands of thousands of businesses who wanted nothing to do with this misguided case, and a decision to approve it violates established law and common sense. We are reviewing the ruling and will take whatever steps are necessary to protect the rights of merchants and safeguard the pocketbooks of their customers.”



NRF argued against approval of the settlement at a hearing in September. Credit card swipe fees cost merchants and their customers and estimated $30 billion a year and have tripled over the past decade.

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FINANCE

NRF: Only 49.9% of shoppers have completed holiday purchasing

BY Marianne Wilson

Washington, D.C. — The average holiday shopper had completed half (49.9%) of their shopping, slightly less than the 56.5% they’d completed by this time last year, boding well for retailers who are preparing for a very big holiday shopping weekend, according to the National Retail Federation’s latest holiday survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. Specifically, 32 million or 14% say they have not even started, while another 20 million, or 8.9% say they are already finished.

“There’s no question that the shortened holiday season has put both retailers and consumers in a rush to make the most out of the time that’s left before the big day,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “With two of the most important shopping weekends in front of them, retailers will do their best to pull in those final dollars with unique offerings for their in-store, online and mobile shoppers; consumers will definitely be doing their homework before committing to any gift purchase, however, making it even more important for companies to compete on value, price and digital offerings.”
According to the NRF, retailers are still on track to meet its holiday sales forecast of 3.9% growth.

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